“Well I finally made it to Slane and my first Madonna concert, it was an amazing experience and one I just had to write about“.
That’s what our community member ScruffySlayer wrote about the Slane concert.
Click on Full Article to read the review
I arrived inside the actual Slane venue after walking from one of the “car parks (nice word for big fields that people paid to put their cars in) and through the village (it took awhile, there was lots of people but it wasn’t too bad).
When I got inside I soon found myself abandoning my Dad (who had to come along to accompany me) on the hill and heading to the bottom to try and get myself a decent view, I skirted around the right for awhile before heading a bit left of the centre, where I managed to secure a pretty decent spot near enough to the second barrier (there was an area for a 1000 or so people at the front which was cordoned off, a space for security and then a second area with a barrier which I was near the front of) which I managed to keep more or less (everybody ends up moving a few steps off their original spot once the crush really starts) for the whole show, from then it was just waiting, chatting to the people around me on and off, laughing at/being bored by the support acts and praying for no rain.
Around 8:30 when Madonna was supposed to be on stage, the buzz began, Paul Oakenfold had just finished a second set and the entire crowd (which seemed pretty much full from what I saw everytime I looked back) was eager for the show to start, every time a screen moved or did something that looked significant people screamed with delight, the wait started to bug us a bit, especially the people around me who’d been standing for hours at that stage (lord knows how the people in the front area coped, well at they could move back and forth a bit I suppose), the rain started to pour too and people I think we’re getting a little weary, though when 9:20 rolled around and the show finally started things really got going!
I’m going to look at each song individually because I want to say what I liked etc about each one:
The Beast Within: Thought this was a very cool way to open the show, when the screen in the centre of the stage moved apart to show the one at the back and both were showing different images of Madonna, it was stunning.
Vogue: The way this segued directly in from TBW was amazing, that was something I loved about the show it moved so fast, and the whole show was so well put together, but anyway as Madonna and her dancers assembled themselves on the stage I was in awe of the visual of it and Madonna’s moves, the way she flipped herself back and forth on her elevated platform was so cool, the mix of Vogue they used was great too, it felt like the original but was still new enough to make it interesting, the choreography for this was really well put together, it was reminiscent of the original video and moves but in a way much better. I loved the video screens in this segment, the way they used all the Steven Klein photos was really clever.
Nobody Knows Me: Again, I was amazed at this song kicked in straight off after Vogue, the screens for this were mind-blowing, really slick and simple and a stunning visual, Madonna’s moves and presence on the stage for this was kick ass, the way she pulled all her moves off and swaggered like the Queen that she is was brilliant, although I’ve a feeling that some of this performance will work better on the DVD, where you have a better view of all the moves. The mix of the song was ok but it felt a little safe, could have had a harder beat maybe.
Frozen: This was a great chance to Madonna to show her vocal skills and again the screens really brought this to life, it wasn’t as spectacular as the DWT performance but it kind of reminded you of the power of the song and was really done.
American Life: I love how they filled in between songs with the stage set up, it looked amazing. The catwalk for those who were wondering was in the show and this song, but it was set into the ground for the whole show, Madonna and her dancers were right in the thick of the crowd for this, which was so cool. I had a pretty good view of her and everyone around me went mad when the saw her. I loved the energy and visual of the performance, Madonna really kicked ass on this one especially during the rap, which I thought was a great “Up yours to everyone who missed the point of it, I think they based a lot of the mix of the song on the Headcleanr mix off of the EP.
Express Yourself: The military reworking of this was so cool, and the crowd really got into it, singing along for all they were worth, at the start of the song she screamed at the crowd: “Ireland!! Are you ready? (much screaming) “I said, ARE YOU READY? she really played this one up well, I liked the way she sang to all the male soldiers like she was some kind of agony aunt cum drill sergeant. I loved how they worked the little vocal bits from the original mix, the “till you can’t come down bits in the deep male voice. Great fun!
Burning Up: One of my favourite songs of the night, one which I only heard for the first time a few weeks ago (why oh why was this left off the Immaculate Collection?). I loved the energy of this, it get the crowd fired up even though most of them didn’t know the words, although big up to the guy behind me who knew the words (when he started he was like “I love this song! and started singing which got me all fired up because I love the song too), he gave me the courage to sing along as loud as possible (I got looks for knowing all the words to Nobody Knows Me). Madonna kicked so much ass in this performance, her vocals were great.
Material Girl: Another highlight for me, at the start she said “Ireland, we’re going to do another oldie but goodie, but I need you to help me remember the words and egged the crowd throughout, at one point saying: “You’re not making me feel very welcome, it being my first time in your country! and told us off and praised in equal measure, I couldn’t tell whether she was joking or not because she looked kind of pissed at times, the crowd were amazing though I think they rose to the challenge!
Hollywood: A really excellent way to move things along, the dancers blew me away on this, the staging was great and I liked how they worked Stuart Price’s mix into the song
Hanky Panky: Again, thank you to the guy behind me for joining in my delight at hearing this song, it’s hard to sing a song about spanking by yourself! The performance of this was very faithful to the original and very fun with it, I think though this segment of the show lost people as it went along, because the songs weren’t as sing along worthy
Deeper and Deeper: This was too slow for the crowd I think, they couldn’t sing along, the idea was great to do it slower because it gave it more depth and showed off her voice but I think she could have do a faster version to get the crowd going.
Die Another Day: Great dance moves and I’m a big fan of this song, some people sang along but again the whole showgirl segment of the show dragged for most I think
Lament: I liked the idea of this, the way they tried to connect to DAD but it fell flat in such a big venue, it didn’t have the same impact visually as it could, it seems like a lovely song though (was my first time hearing it, but I knew it was going to be in the show) and her voice was so powerful during it, personally I liked that things slowed down a bit, when every body was singing it was tough to hear her voice (80,000 people can be VERY loud!)
Bedtime Story: This was a really cool video! I didn’t expect to be so different from the original but it was amazing, the actual visual and concept of the video was cool, I loved all the pose Madonna pulled and the dancers really complimented it well.
Nothing Fails: Love this song and loved this performance. The crowd responded to it well though not many sang along, thank you again, guy behind me! During this song a crew member had to hold an umbrella over Madonna and I could see her smiling away, really happy with the crowd and that. Was amazing..
Don’t Tell Me: Great fun this, she started it off with a “Yeeehaw!.
The Verve sample was great, everyone recognised it, and it really worked with the song, she did her “Don’t tell me to what? bit and just before she sang it she said “Don’t tell me to WHAT MOTHERFUCKERS?, which I loved!
Like A Prayer: Before this song Madonna asked us if we were ready to shake our ass etc, the way she asked was really cute. This song was amazing amazing amazing! The crowd went ape shit for this song, and Madonna could see it.
Mother and Father: This was the only song of the night that didn’t work, I think she really lost people here, it was for too long and personally I would have rather seen this worked into the disco part show with the original mix, which would have been more clever
Imagine: This was amazing, a real lighter waving number! People responded really well to it and she told the crowd she chose the song because it showed people could change the world, or words to that effect.. I was glad people responded to it well there were some snobby people talking about it on the radio who were dismissive but people really liked it from what I could tell.
Into the Groove: WOW! The way this started was brilliant, I kind of knew what it was but people around me where a bit confused but once Madonna came out people get really really into it. I think it was silly to use the lyrics from the GAP version though, people got thrown off a bit. She wore a jacket for this performance by the way, I loved the choreography, the whole performance was just so infectious.
Papa Don’t Preach: Loved this, but should have been longer, it worked better than I thought, I was afraid she’d seem to old to be telling her dad not to preach but it worked. After this song we had the whole speech to her Irish fans which was great, she said “I can’t believe I’m finally here in Ireland! Jesus Christ! What took me so long? She got a great reception for that then she said: “I’m honoured to be here! I’ll see you all at the pub later she said jokingly before saying “Cheers and swigging her water.
Crazy For You: I think Madonna was taken aback by the crowds response during this she seemed in awe and was very playful with the crowd saying to a couple in the front at the start “You can sing along encouragingly, and she laughed at her dancers who were at the side of the stage going crazy for the whole song.
Music: Loved the stage for this and the mix, much more disco-y than the DWT version thought not as crowd friendly..
Holiday: Another great number, when she went into the crowd on the catwalk it was so cool! Everyone around her went crazy and she got the people directly in front of her to sing the song! For the songs end she had “all my people on the hill “all my people in the trees, “all my people on the ground which was fun, the ending was a bit abrupt cuz her mic played up a bit (a couple of times in the show you could see her trying to focus and fix her mic) so people didn’t hear her say good night. Some people expected an encore but I thought it was a great way to end a brilliant show
Overall I thought that it was a terrific and really well put together show, the only times it slowed down was some of the showgirl segment and Mother and Father, for the rest the energy level of the crowd and Madonna was amazing and there was a buzz for the whole show that was hard to beat
My only real complaint was the poor managing of the crowd after the show and the ridiculous amount of time to took for people to get home. The car parks were poor too. Still well done Madonna for a fantastic show, thanks also to MCD for bringing her to Ireland, my Dad for bringing me back and forth and being so good about it, and the guy behind me who sang everything thanks for a being a great hardcore fan!
Special Thanks to ScruffySlayer